Created: 07/01/2014 7:29 PM
By: Devin Neeley, KOB Eyewitness News 4
As summer heats up, people are searching for ways to stay cool. That often involves jumping into water, but in Farmington, Some are jumping into a place that's illegal and threatening the water supply.
Clear, cool and refreshing, but dip in the water of Farmington Lake on a hot summer day and you could find yourself in a heap of trouble.
“Fines for those start at $129 and go up from there,” said Sgt. Baric Crum.
At least 12 times so far this summer, Farmington police have busted people swimming illegally in Farmington Lake. Police say that swimmer safety isn't the only reason people need to stay out of the water.
“It’s future drinking water for the city,” said Sgt. Crum.
That's right, this respite from the summer heat will soon end up in your kitchen tap.
“Most of us don't swim in our drinking sources,” said Crum.
Despite the rules, some people ask why have a lake if you can’t swim in it
Samantha Bonefield was taking a break from moving with her children. She said, “it does seem kind of silly to have a lake out here on a hot day… And not be able to swim or have any activities in the water.”
Our cameras caught three families doing more than just dipping a toe.
Sargent Crum says people justify the illegal dip by the fish that use the water.
“We have means to take care of problems that fish pose in our drinking systems.”
The Farmington public works director the city's ordinance was passed 45 years ago and officials with the city contractor responsible for treating the drinking water says they have the ability to treat the water for all contaminants, but the ordinance is there to keep pollution at a minimum.
Farmington officials recommend Brookside Park for a legal dip. It’s an outdoor pool with a slide, and diving boards. It costs only a $1.50 to get in. There's also the aquatic center that costs $4.50 for adults and $3.25 for kids.
Farmington also has two free “splash pads’ fountains, one at Orchard Park the other at Berg Park.